Now that the clocks have gone back, autumn is officially in full swing and winter is fast approaching. As the daylight hours shorten, many of us face the prospect of waking up in the dark and returning home in the dark. This lack of Vitamin D can have a profound impact on our mind and body, but there are a number of easy ways we can beat the winter blues. If you think you might be suffering more severely (perhaps from Seasonal Affective Disorder) it’s worth visiting your GP to discuss longer-term solutions.

Here are my five top tips to help you combat the clock rewind.

1. Set yourself goals 

The new year brings new resolutions, and the summer often feels full of possibilities, but this time of year doesn’t always have the same energy. This makes laziness a little too easy, as we all simply aim to make it to Christmas when we can relax and celebrate. But this doesn’t have to be the case! In order to squeeze the most out of the last few months of 2019 and end the year on a high, it’s a good idea to set yourself some achievable goals that will keep you occupied between now and 25th December.

Setting yourself targets and sticking to them is a great way to give yourself purpose and direction even when it’s gloomy outside. You’ll experience a sense of accomplishment when you reach your goal too, which is great for your self-confidence. Whether it’s learning a new skill, running 5k, or working towards a promotion at work, now’s the time to do it. It could completely redefine the end of your year.

2. Make time for self-care 

Whether it’s putting on a face mask, baking something you love or taking the time to get a mani-pedi, you should never underestimate the power of self-care. A simple act of self-kindness will help you feel put together, polished, relaxed and in control. Taking some time for yourself might also inspire you to tend to some other areas of your life that perhaps have been neglected due to life’s many commitments. 

Beauty treatments are a great option, as looking and feeling your best has the power to change the way you feel about yourself on the inside, too. It’s always worth taking the time to treat yourself to some pampering and some me-time. Let somebody else take care of you for a change! 

3. Dive into a new book

Now is the perfect time of year to spend your spare moments curled up on the sofa, with a hot drink to warm you up and a good book to lose yourself in. Books have the remarkable ability to take you out of yourself, and encourage you to focus all of your attention on one thing. This is rare for most of us nowadays, as even whilst watching films or having conversations we might check our phones for emails or social updates. Reading requires undivided attention, so is a brilliant way to cut out that white noise.

If you’re already an avid reader looking for something more, why not consider joining a book club or start one with your friends? There’s no better way to be introduced to new people and new literature, and reading is even more rewarding when you’re able to share your thoughts on a book you’ve loved, with someone who has read it too.

4. Get a spray tan 

Whilst your summer holiday might feel like a distant memory, you can still maintain a healthy complexion and summer glow with a natural spray tan. They don’t always have to be bright orange! For a more natural tan, ask your beauty therapist to go for a lighter shade. You might be surprised at how great a tan can help you feel, boosting your confidence and making you glow both inside and out.

5. Exercise

It can be all too easy to spend your time inside when it’s so dark and chilly outdoors, but remember that it’s important to stick to your usual exercise regime, especially during the winter. Exercise has a whole host of mental and physical health benefits, and in order to maintain a healthy mind and body it is important to keep active. 

Whilst the time of year doesn’t lend itself to all activities, there are still plenty of fun sports and classes that you can do indoors: from badminton and squash, to yoga, zumba, spinning and karate. Gyms are a great option, and finding one close to home or the office will make it easy to go in the morning or right after work. If you want to save money, just a few pieces of equipment can create a great home workout.

6. Try Vitamin D supplements 

The benefits of Vitamin D supplements are well-documented, and they can be a great way to beat tiredness and boost your mood during the darker months. If you’re really suffering from the lack of daylight and sunshine, it’s worth giving these a try. They’re available to buy over the counter without a prescription.